Parenting isn’t easy. Especially these days. Peer pressure, gangs,
drugs, school violence… a parent has an endless array of worries
to keep them awake at night. Even disciplining your child can be a slippery
slope that must be tread carefully. But sometimes, no matter how hard
you work to see that your child acts appropriately when out of your presence,
sometimes, kids get in trouble. What happens if your son or daughter does
something that sparks the involvement of the police? If your child is
under 18 years of age, you shouldn’t just be concerned about what
will happen to your child; you need to be aware of what might happen to
you, but most importantly, what your parental rights in Arizona include!
Most states have what is called a Parent Responsibility Act. (
See Arizona Revised Statutes §12-661
). In Arizona, both parents (whether married or not) or the minor’s
legal guardian can be held civilly liable for any “malicious or
willful misconduct” of the minor child. Simply stated, “malicious
or willful” means the child knew they were doing something wrong
and did it anyway. This can include shoplifting, assault, possessing or
selling drugs or breaking and entering, among other crimes.
Civil parental financial responsibility is capped at $10,000 for each wrongful
act committed by each minor child, as stated by your parental rights in
Arizona, and most insurance companies will likely not pay claims caused
by an intentional act. As an example, if your child were to be charged
andburglary, you could be fined up to $20,000! If more than one of your children
is involved, you liability doubles, according to your parental rights.
In Arizona, the Courts may also require parents or legal guardians to
participate in court mandated counseling and/or other treatment programs
if their minor children get in trouble with the authorities. The minor
will face their own consequences and may be required to pay additional fines
If your child has been accused of a crime, from misdemeanor to felony,
you need to be aware of your parental rights in Arizona that impact you
as well as your child. Now is not the time to take matters into your own
hands. You need experienced, aggressive representation to protect you.